Only 5% of the humanhas which code for . This part of the is the part which has been studied most, and decades of experimental research and will still be needed before it is understood. What about the other 95%? This greater part of the used to be called junk . But there may be far more to it than meets the scientists’ eye…
THE human was a huge project that went on for years, and cost millions. It was accompanied by astonishing progress both in experimental technology and .
We talk about THE humanas though there were only one for all of us. This, however, is not true. Every single human being has his or her unique . There are about 3 million differences between your and your neighbour’s! Or your parents’! ‘THE’ human the media were talking about is in fact the of a human that never existed, but the assembly of bits of which belonged to different individuals.
Currently, there are many individualprojects. Today, your own costs about one hundred dollars and is done within a week.
Sometools are able to predict the position of a on a . Others can then predict the produced by these . However predicting is not enough – you still need to find out if these actually exist. So you go to the laboratory. This is exactly how the Human Project is being carried out. However, even within one person there is not one but a multitude of human , depending not only on the but also the surrounding conditions, whether drugs have been taken or even the time of day. Thus the Human Project is also a huge undertaking. So much so that establishing all these relies on collaboration on an international scale.
The progress made in the life sciences over these last years has been considerable, and continues to be so. Nevertheless, in research, every answer generates many more questions. If aexists, what does it do? How does it do it? Where is it in our bodies? How does it interact with other ? Is it involved in a disease? If so, which one? These are some of the challenges faced both by researchers in the laboratory and bioinformaticians.